I was at the gym getting my workout on years ago when this kind man with gentle eyes looked at me, smiled and said hello.

I said “hello” and he went on his way.

Throughout the next few days, I saw him again and again and we started to talk a bit more about our workout routines at our last stop at the gym…the sauna. If you’ve never tried relaxing in the sauna after a hard workout, it’s an absolute must! I’ve had the best conversations while sweating it out with others.

Me and Al

I learned his name was Al. He came to the gym every day like clockwork at 7:30am except Wednesdays. He was a car enthusiast (Chevy all the way), loved traveling with his wife, a proud father, a grandfather and was not retiring anytime soon. He worked the corporate life until he retired and was now doing extremely well as a realtor because he truly showed up for people and went the extra mile.

I was completely blown away when he told me he was in his 70s because he looked and acted so incredibly young like he was maybe in his mid-50s. Proof that working out and being positive does a body good.

Over the next couple of years and a lot of ups and downs in my personal life and throughout my business (while writing my book), Al was the ONE face I could depend on when I went to the gym. He became my “family” and who I call my “step-in dad” especially since my relationship with my own father was on hiatus. My dad and Al were night and day when it came to showing up in my world.

I even laugh because there were days I got ready to go to the gym, dressed in yoga pants and didn’t work out at all. I just sat with Al on a bench as he gave me a pep talk about life and continued to cheer me on. He’s so good at that. Knowing when I’m down and inspiring me to keep forging ahead no matter how rough the road gets.

I’m deeply indebted to Al for saving me with his simple and timely “hello.” He is the kind of “step-in dad” this gal has always wanted in her life – someone who is a constant reminder that life is what we make it and there’s no room to be negative. Someone who checks in on me to see how I’m doing through silly, emoji heavy text messages. Someone who asks to do lunch at the drop of hat without planning it months in advance. And someone who deeply cares without expecting the world in return.

People like Al are out there, but you can’t wait for them to find you. You have to take the initiative, make a move, and keep the conversation going.

Whether you meet someone in person or online, always remember a simple hello could lead to a million things.

Rule of Life #93:

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